1 John 2:1 Christ Is Our Advocate
August 7th, 2022

2:1  My little children, I am writing these things to you

In this verse, John reveals another of his purposes in writing this epistle.  He doesn’t want us to sin.  Even though he has already reminded them that they are sinful and do continue to sin, and have sin that is in need of confession, he hasn’t said these things so that Christians should just dismiss sin as normal, and o.k. and ignore the issue, but instead to make sure that they are aware of it’s evil effect on their Christian life, their walk with Christ, so that they will be on their guard against sin.

John emphasizes his own personal relationship with them as their spiritual father.  The Greek here is Teknia, the diminutive of Teknion, which is why John’s using it here.  It’s a term of endearment, saying “my little children”. 

you so that you may not sin

He’s letting us know that he’s writing “these things” that he’s just finished telling us in Chapter 1, and especially in verses 8-10, because he does not want us to deceive ourselves about what he has written.   He wants to make sure that we understand that what he has said about confessing sin instead of denying it was to encourage us to avoid sin, and does not justify a careless, passive, or inattentive attitude toward our walk with Christ.  Sin is serious, and he’s making sure that we understand this before he discusses our forgiveness and cleansing in Christ.  See also Paul addressing the issue in Romans (6:1-5, etc.)

However, if anyone does sin

When John says “if anyone sins,” he’s not giving permission to sin, or saying that sinning is o.k., or to be taken lightly.  What he’s saying is that, although we have the power through the indwelling Holy Spirit not to sin, if we sin, although it is serious, we’re not just written off!   In the eventual event that a person does happen to sin there is provision.

we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;

John includes himself among those who benefit from this wonderful ministry of Jesus Christ.  We have an advocate in the presence of the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. The term “Advocate” describes the intercessory work of Jesus on our behalf.  An advocate is a person who comes to our aid or pleads our case to a judge. Advocates offer support, strength, and counsel and intercede for us when necessary. The Bible says that Jesus is an Advocate for those who’ve put their trust in Him.  As believers we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”.

The Holy Spirit, our Indwelling Advocate

Jesus calls the Holy Spirit our Advocate (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7). In John 14:16-17 we read John 14:16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever; 17 the Helper is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him; but you know Him because He remains with you and will be in you.  18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.   So, we see that the Holy Spirit is given by God to indwell us, and in order to us understand the Word of God, help the apostles understand His word, and to not sin. Jesus has requested that God the Father send the Holy Spirit as an advocate on our end of the anchor line of our life, tied to Jesus in heaven.  Jesus arranged for us to have a “counsellor” within us all the time.  And the Holy Spirit works within us, even assisting our prayers, so that we pray for what we ought to.   on the other hand, does assist our prayers Romans 8:26 26 Now in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; So, the Holy Spirit makes sure that communications are clear and appropriate on our end, helping us to express prayers that are in line with God’s Will, so that Jesus can advocate for us.

Jesus’ role on the other end of that line, in heaven is our advocate, we could say lawyer.  God’s righteous law pronounces us guilty on all counts. We have violated God’s standards, rejected His right to rule our lives, and continued to sin even after coming to a knowledge of the truth. The only just punishment for such wickedness is an eternity in hell.  But Jesus stands as the Advocate between our repentant hearts and the law, if His blood has been applied to our lives through faith and confession of Him as Lord and savior.  He pleads our case with the Righteous Judge. Our Advocate stands before the Judge, and together they agree that, because we are “in Christ,” no further punishment is necessary. Jesus has already made sufficient payment to redeem us.  That’s why Hebrews 9:28 says 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

Another aspect that makes Jesus our compassionate Advocate is the fact that He has experienced life in this world, too. He has been tempted, rejected, overlooked, misunderstood, and abused. Heb 4:15 says For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. (see also John 8:29). 

Example of Peter’s Sin in Denying Christ

Where do we see Jesus actually doing this?  Luke 22:32 31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded to sift you men like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith will not fail; and you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Notice that Jesus didn’t save Simon Peter from the testing.  Satan did indeed sift him like wheat, on the night in which Jesus was betrayed, causing him to deny Jesus three times, just as Jesus had prophesied would happen. Jesus’ advocacy for Peter was that his faith would not fail completely, that he would not become an apostate, but that he would return. 

Restoration

John 21:15-19 Just as Peter had denied Him three times, Jesus asks Peter to confirm his Love for Him three times.  Just has Peter had betrayed his call to tend to baby Christians, helping them grow in faith, to pastor and guide believers into a correct understanding of Jesus, and to shepherd them along the way, Jesus reaffirms this call in Peters life three times.  This is restoration after repentance.

We must trust in Jesus.  He is the One pleading our case on the basis of His accomplished work on the cross, just like He prayed for Peter in Luke 22 and just as Hebrews describes Him, as our High Priest intercessor.